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The Times They Are a-Changin’—For Police Cars

For years, the image we’ve all been used to in the standard car chase scene is of the bad guy’s exotic sports car being chased down by dozens of Ford Crown Victoria police cars—all of which usually end up smashed by the end of the chase.

Well, now it seems that Hollywood is going to have to downsize like the rest of us, as Ford has finally ended production of the legendary Crown Vic and slated it for replacement with two of its other more popular models:  the Taurus and Explorer.  The biggest surprise here is that both of the alternatives feature a V6 instead of the hefty V-8 that powered the Vic.  Will the six-cylinder engine be enough to chase down all the bad guys? 

Chicago’s police department certainly seems to think so, as they placed an order for 500 of the newest Ford Police Interceptors last month.  And there’s no doubt the new vehicles will be cheaper to maintain:  the new Police Interceptor sedan saves up to 35% in fuel costs, while the Police Interceptor SUV saves up to 32% in fuel costs over the old Crown Vic. 

Of course, all that is irrelevant if the engine doesn’t respond heartily when called upon to serve.  Ford says that the V-6 in the new police vehicles puts out 288-horsepower, which is still more than the Crown Vic put out in 2011, when the rated horsepower was 250 at 5,000 RPMs. 

All in all, the more efficient engines can be counted on to save a police department with 100 of the new vehicles a total of $153,300 in fuel costs over the course of a year.  Can we count on less taxes in the coming years as a result of all that money saved?

Don’t hold your breath.  What can count on is more old Crown Vic showing up on buy here pay here car lots in Chicago.